The post of Prosecutor General has been empty since the dismissal of former PG Rouslan Riaboshapka during the Cabinet shake-up on the week of March 5. But on March 17, during an emergency parliamentary session aimed at introducing measures to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in Ukraine, the parliament confirmed State Bureau of Investigations head Irina Venediktova.
269 MPs voted in favor of her appointment. MPs from opposition parties Golos and European Solidarity voted against, with their representatives declaring harsh condemnation of the choice. Venediktova had, in 2019, served as an MP for the ruling Servant of the People party, and her confirmation as PG was preceded by a short statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Criticism of the new PG included insinuations that Venediktova would not be an independent prosecutor and allegations against her educational fitness for the post, with one MP from European Solidarity accusing Venediktova of wanting to remove amnesty from Euromaidan participants.
Her supporters pointed at Venediktova's record and reputation as a just and fair legal mind.
Venediktova inherits a legal system in the midst of reform, with several high-profile, still-unsolved cases on her case - including the big "Euromaidan case."